Cosmetic dentistry is used to fix a smile that is marred by stained teeth, broken teeth, gaps, and uneven teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is not like orthodontics. Orthodontics typically uses appliances such as braces and palate expanders to physically move teeth or reshape the mouth. Cosmetic dentists can use other methods to reshape the teeth, close spaces, whiten, and many other procedures that not only just enhance the look of the teeth, but actually improve the bite and remove decay.
Whiten Your Smile
Bleaching the teeth to make them whiter is a very common procedure. While there are many over the counter ways to bleach teeth, a dentist can provide a much more effective way to whiten your teeth either in the office or with a take home kit. A custom shaped mouthpiece will be created specifically for your mouth. How long this procedure takes will depend on how many shades lighter you are trying to make your teeth and if the stains are stubborn.
Repairing Your Teeth
There are many methods that can be used to repair cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Bonding, crowns and veneers are the most commonly used methods to repair teeth.
Bonding is similar to filling a cavity, but it uses tooth-colored resin that can fill in cracks and gaps, as well as get rid of decay. Bonding is very versatile and can be used to fill spaces, cover an entire surface, or repair chips. Bonding is typically going to be the cheapest method to repair teeth, but it is also going to be the most likely to wear down, chip or stain. Sometimes dentists can use this as a short term fix until a client can afford the more expensive procedures.
A crown is a cap that covers a tooth. It has many uses other than just restoring normal appearance and shape. Crowns are versatile and can protect a weak tooth, cover a tooth with a large filling, restore a broken or worn tooth, cover a tooth after a root canal, cover a dental implant, and hold a dental bridge in place. Crowns are also made from different materials—metal, resin, porcelain fused to metal, and ceramic. Crowns can be costly and are only used when other less expensive procedures cannot be used effectively.
Veneers are a porcelain or plastic shell that covers the front and sides of a tooth in order to change the shape and color. Veneers are strong and last longer than bonding. They are more expensive than bonding, but cheaper than crowns. Veneers can improve the look of teeth that are stained, cracked, chipped, worn, misshapen or even crooked. Veneers can also improve the spacing between teeth. Veneers are glued to the existing teeth using cement.
When all the above fails and a tooth is removed, the patient may not want to use dentures or bridges. Implants are an expensive and long-term solution to replace missing teeth. Implants are surgically attached to the jawbone using titanium metal. A crown then fits over part of the implant that sticks out of the gum. This procedure is very extensive and should be talked over with an oral surgeon and taken very seriously.
Before deciding on any cosmetic dentistry procedure, the patient should go over the risks and the benefits as well as checking into the cost of the procedure (with dentists like Roy B. Guster DDS PC). Cosmetic dentistry changes mouths for the better while repairing damage and boosting self-esteem.